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One of the most important responsibilities of IPERS is to assess the value of the Trust Fund and its ability to finance benefits for members into the future. This assessment is called an actuarial valuation. IPERS hires independent, professional actuaries to make this assessment.
Our Actuary: Cavanaugh Macdonald Consulting, LLC
What Are Their Responsibilities? They must:
- Measure and report on the assets and liabilities of IPERS.
- Review and analyze trends in IPERS’ membership and actuarial assumptions.
- Calculate a required contribution rate pursuant to the System's funding policy.
What Do Actuaries Look For? Actuaries look at all kinds of factors. For example, they analyze:
- The amount of contributions coming into the fund.
- Benefits promised to current and future retirees. Investment returns.
- Long-term economic trends, inflation, and salary growth.
- Life expectancy trends.
- Retirement trends.
After assessing these and other factors, the actuary recommends assumptions and methods to be used in valuing current and future liabilities as reported in the annual valuation. The assumptions and methods are also used to determine required contribution rates.
Actuaries also complete experience studies, which compare assumptions they used in their valuations to reality; for example, comparing when people were expected to retire versus when they actually did retire. The information is used to make future actuarial valuations more accurate. Experience studies are completed every four years.
Experience Studies: Current (pdf)